SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS

The 2016 Range Rover HSE Td6 offers excellent fuel economy, and off-roading chops, a rarity among large luxury SUVs

Say the word diesel these days and negative images come up to most people (what with that little VW scandal); but let it be known that diesel is by no means dead.

In fact, if you’re for looking diesel vehicles that deliver amazing fuel economy, there are some scandal-free options out there for you -- provided you have a few bucks.

In this case, make that a lot of bucks -- as I recently tested Land Rover’s 2016 Range Rover HSE Td6, which I can honestly say is among the most impressive vehicles I’ve driven in recent years -- diesel or otherwise.

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is a big step forward from the 2015 model

 

Mazda’s powers-that-be must be big Monty Python fans, because the first thought in my head when I saw and drove the new 2016 Mazda CX-9 three-row SUV was “And now for something completely different … “

Often new model years bring little to no change to a vehicle, but this is the polar opposite. I remember driving the 2015 CX-9 and not being very impressed with the performance vs. other three-row SUVs, but the 2016 model invites much warmer feelings. I recently drove a 2016 CX-9 and here are the key takeaways I have from my week in the car.

The 2017 Kia Sportage gets an extreme redesign on the exterior.

Kia, the South Korean automaker that was initially scoffed at by car buyers, has had an incredible couple of decades, with constant growth throughout and a march toward respectability. I recently tested out one of their latest offerings, the 2017 Kia Sportage, and I’m back with a rundown of the key things you need to know about this crossover offering from the upstart automaker.

  1. It is, in fact, sporty:
    Many vehicles that label themselves as SUVs (sport utility vehicles) are anything but sporty. But thankfully that wasn’t the case here, as the 2017 Sportage is quite impressive in this regard. To be frank (and subliminally quote Shania Twain), most crossovers of this size don’t impress me much with how they perform. But this is one of the few exceptions to that rule in the class.

The 2016 GMC Yukon Denali combines a rugged exterior with a luxurious interior

In the grand scheme of things, GMC is not an automaker that comes to mind when the word “luxury” is mentioned. They’re known as a rugged brand, primarily for Sierra pickup trucks, and aren’t thought of alongside Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lincoln and others.


But there’s another side to GMC that many don’t know about -- the Denali side. By sprucing up many of their models with Denali trim, GMC is boosting up many of its offerings to be on par with the heavyweights in the luxury class.


I recently drove a 2016 GMC Yukon Denali, and I’m back with a full report of the dapper nature hiding behind that rugged exterior.

The Lexus LX570 is the largest offering by the luxury automaker.

A brand like Lexus is mostly going to be known for its speedy, sporty sedans and smaller SUVs. That’s the nature of the business, as those are the high-volume segments that more people can afford.


But don’t forget about the big guys. In the Lexus camp, that would be the LX570, aka Lexus’ large-and-in-charge model.


Sales numbers of this mammoth people-mover will pale in comparison to something like the popular RX line, but it’s still out there competing with vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade and Range Rover for buyers who want that full-size SUV experience in their luxury ride.


I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2016 LX570, and I’m back with a full report on just how big and bad this SUV really is.

Audi's Q7 is redesigned for 2017 and features

Cutting-edge is a word often thrown around by automakers in describing their vehicle upgrades. More often than not, it’s not quite as dramatic an improvement as they would indicate.


But sometimes, rarely, all that promotional lingo is right on the money. And a vehicle’s reimagining is truly exceptional and brings it to a new level. I recently experienced this with my test drive of the 2017 Audi Q7, the luxury SUV the German automaker that has gotten a major overhaul for the 2017 model year.


Between its new look, flawless driving experience, and seemingly endless tech additions, it impressed me to the point where I would list it atop all the other luxury SUVs in its class, and I’m here with a full breakdown of my time in the vehicle and what it has to offer.

The 2016 GMC Terrain Denali has a bold, attractive look

When I hear the name GMC, I think of trucks -- its Sierra pickups most specifically, and its Yukon full-size SUVs, which are based off of a truck body.

But let’s not forget that GMC still competes in the crossover marketplace too -- with its midsize Acadia offering, plus the baby of the bunch -- the GMC Terrain.

The Terrain is getting a bit dated compared to some competitors, but remains in the battlefield in the ever-crowded small SUV/crossover segment. I recently spent some time in a 2016 GMC Terrain Denali, and I’m back with a full report.

The redesigned 2016 Lexus RX350 and its unique grille set it apart from previous versions of the vehicle.

Beauty is only skin deep. But when it comes to vehicles, there’s something special about a vehicle that doesn’t look like everything else on the road and pushes boundaries.


Such is the case with the 2016 Lexus RX350, which features a daring design that goes against the typical look you see in today’s cookie-cutter vehicles. The moment I saw it for the first time, I was impressed.


But how would it drive? I’m back with a full recap after a week in the RX350.

The Fiat 500X is the automaker's largest vehicle to debut in the U.S.

Like most people, my first thought when I hear the name Fiat is of a car so small that it barely exists -- its basic “cinquecento” (aka 500).


But as the brand expands in America, it knows it has to grow -- and that’s where its latest vehicle, the 2016 Fiat 500X, comes into play.

In America, we like things that are XXL, Xtreme, Xtra large, and so on, so I like the naming convention. And while it’s not going to be confused with an Escalade, there’s no doubt this is the largest Fiat ever to grace the road in the U.S..

This is not your average Fiat; and that’s a good thing in my book. I was skeptical before I got the vehicle as to how I would enjoy my time in it, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by what it offers compared to other vehicles in the growing compact SUV segment.

The Lincoln MKX has been redesigned for the 2016 model year.

In the world of automobiles, an old, outdated look and style can be fatal to a vehicle.

So after nine years in its original form, the Lincoln MKX was among the vehicles most in need of a new look.


Thankfully it got a full refresh for the 2016 model year, and the results are a strong competitor in the midsize luxury sedan field.


A more modern look, better engine options and overall improvement in quality of materials make the vehicle finally feel like it belongs in this class. Here’s a full report on my time in the MKX.

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